(Bloomberg) -- McDonald’s is going retro to give millennials a blast from their past and Gen Z a taste of what it was like when Happy Meals first hit big.
The company has teamed up with streetwear apparel maker Cactus Plant Flea Market to create a retro-themed boxed meal for the US market, which has about 13,500 locations.
Starting Oct. 3, the box will be available at restaurants and by delivery, and will include a Big Mac or Chicken McNuggets, fries and one of four figurines — Grimace, Hamburglar, Birdie and a new character, Cactus Buddy. Hoodies and other merchandise will be available for a limited time on cpfmmcdonalds.com starting at 11 a.m. ET. The company also plans on giving away t-shirts and other items on the McDonald’s app.
McDonald’s celebrity meals, including a tie-up with rapper Travis Scott, have proven successful for the Golden Arches and helped boost sales. As part of its growth strategy, the company has said it's looking for new ways to appeal to customers by investing in “culturally relevant approaches.”
“We’re taking one of the most nostalgic McDonald’s experiences and literally repackaging it in a new way that’s hyper-relevant for our adult fans,” said Tariq Hassan, McDonald’s USA Chief Marketing and Customer Experience Officer, in a statement.
The iconic characters have been reimagined with four eyes, which is Cactus Plant Flea Market Box’s signature visual look of the double-vision smiley popular with Gen Z, according to a McDonald’s spokesperson.
First introduced in June 1979, the colorful boxed meals contained a hamburger, fries, soft drink, desert and toy prize. Popular figurines included an affable purple monster, Grimace, a burger hoarder, Hamburglar, and McDonald’s first identifiable female character, Birdie the Early Bird. The McDonaldland cast were cultural staples which appeared in adventures alongside the company’s mascot, Ronald McDonald, in TV commercials and throughout the brick-and-mortar stores. In 2022, Ryan Reynolds starred as Grimace in a McDonald’s Super Bowl commercial featuring Kanye West, who goes by Ye.
The company has done other collaborations in recent years to merchandise McDonaldland characters, including one with Funko Pop!
(Adds McDonald’s comment in sixth paragraph. An earlier version corrected the spelling of Kanye West’s name in seventh paragraph.)
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.